Ellen G. White Writings

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A Place Called Oakwood, Page i

Foreword

Oakwood College and its accomplishments are now legendary.

Initially, however, the school seemed less than promising. The year was 1896. A 360-acre plot in Huntsville, Alabama, the site of a former slave plantation, was chosen as a location for the first Seventh-day Adventist advanced school for Blacks. The Alabama landscape was sloping and uneven; the red clay was hard as granite; dense brush encircled the property; the limbs of the trees sagged; derelict brush lay strewn all over; and the soil was barren from having been overworked. It took vision and faith to see a future in this unpromising plot in Alabama in the heart of the South 30 years after the Civil War.

To make matters more challenging, barely enough funds were on hand to buy the property, let alone start a school. The General Conference was pressed for money, and church leaders would be slow to funnel funds into an enterprise such as this. Conditions did not look good.

In the midst of this challenging situation, a clarion voice was heard. It was a voice that spoke for God, convinced that this was the spot the Lord would have the denomination purchase for a school to train blacks to be workers in His vineyard.

From the start Ellen G. White championed Oakwood's cause. Unquestionably she is worthy of the title “cofounder of Oakwood.” Throughout the subsequent years, as Oakwood grew, Ellen White continually spoke out for the school, doing all in her power to make sure it prospered. She wrote, visited, prodded, sacrificed, prayed, donated, advocated, and cried for the fledgling institution to ever fulfill its God-given destiny. As a result of her efforts and the support of the General Conference, and subsequently the support of the Regional conferences, Oakwood College is the success it is today.

This volume is a comprehensive collection of Ellen G. White's written statements (published and unpublished) on Oakwood, or “the Huntsville School,” as she often referred to it.

Her words still instruct and encourage administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters with timeless counsel and inspiration for “a place called Oakwood.”

Benjamin J. Baker.

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